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How to organize a swingers party, and other things writers need to know

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Think you know all about swingers parties? But what do you really know? For example, are they a BYO lube affair? Do you need to bring a coffee flask for refreshment (or any other use)?

Well, wonder no more. The fabulous and generous Andra ‘the Madam’ Ashe, an experienced swingers party hostess, is here to give us the word on what’s involved in being the hostess-with-the-mostest.

Erotica and other writers planning on writing about swingers parties, take note.

RHYLL: What’s the best setup for the party?

ANDRA: When we used a private house we used the lounge and kitchen for socializing, bedrooms for changing and the ‘playroom’ was a room separate from the house. At other house parties I’ve been to, the bedrooms were used for ‘play’ and the lounge and kitchen for socializing. Playrooms in a private residence would either have a bed or mattresses on the floor (with sheets obviously) or both. Commercial venues have a bar and social area, and playrooms with mattresses or other suitable furniture. 

RHYLL: Do hosts provide all the towels, or do swingers bring their own?

ANDRA: When we used a private house we asked guests to bring their own (we had enough laundry to do with sheets and pillow cases), however a commercial venue we used for a while provided towels and sheets and did all the laundry. 

RHYLL: Is it a BYO condoms affair? BYO Lube? 

ANDRA: No, all that is provided by the hosts. We bought in bulk from a sex shop supplies wholesaler.

RHYLL: How does a hostess plan her invite list?

ANDRA: Unless it’s an exclusive party (meaning ‘only come along if you’re young and gorgeous’) where you have to supply photos and be accepted, it’s usually a matter of people just ringing up, having a bit of a chat and then they put their names down to attend. After that, guests just email or call to attend the next one.  We wouldn’t actively stop someone attending (unless they were under our minimum age requirement of 35), but we’d make sure we gave them enough info so they’d know whether it was the sort of party they’d be comfortable at.  We had a limit on the number of people who could attend — first in, best dressed (or undressed, as the case was). Other hosts may have set a numbers limit but from my knowledge not many did.

We gradually built up a group of regulars and there were always new people who’d find out site or our ad on the swingers sites. We ran monthly parties for a while, then twice monthly when we used smaller premises and couldn’t have as many attending. 

RHYLL: Does the host provide rules up front? 

ANDRA: Most parties have a website with rules.  Main rules generally are: ‘no means no’, no intoxication, no photography, no drugs and no coercion. Most parties have a ‘no pressure to participate’ policy meaning you can attend but don’t necessarily have to participate. Our party was different in that way, it was ‘players only’, so if you attended, you participated.

RHYLL: Do people generally know one another’s names or are they usually strangers?  

ANDRA: We only use first names and it’s not unusual to use fake names. We had a large established list of regulars so people do get to know each other. It’s not unusual to see people you’ve met at another venue. It’s accepted that you don’t specifically disclose outside of the party who you might have met up with. Privacy is totally respected.

RHYLL: What’s bad etiquette at a swingers party? 

ANDRA: Being pushy is totally unacceptable, as is being drunk (you’ll be asked to leave). Staying dressed once others are ‘dressed down’ (in lingerie/underwear) is also bad form. ‘Playing’ in social areas is also frowned upon and guests will usually be asked to stop and move to designated play area. 

RHYLL: What counts as good etiquette? 

ANDRA: Respecting everyone’s personal boundaries.  Being friendly.  Taking no for an answer.

RHYLL: What’s the funniest/strangest thing that you’ve had happen when organizing an event? 

ANDRA: Sitting outside in a smoking area (the venue was on a five hectare property) and hearing the sounds of female orgasms from inside (we had a couple of screamers). It made me think how ‘outsiders’ would consider such a noise bizarre, yet we just  thought it was the sound of a great night.

I also once met a woman in her seventies attending one of our parties. I didn’t think it was strange (I think it’s awesome) but it was unusual.

I’m also reminded of one couple we got quite friendly with and the guy was a cross-dresser. As he got more comfortable with us he’d arrive dressed in women’s lingerie. He wasn’t trying to look like a woman (he was overweight and had a beard) he just enjoyed wearing the clothes. One thing I love about our guests is that they weren’t judgmental (well, not openly anyway).

One funny story is the guy at a party we attended who waltzed around with an armband and a packet of condoms tucked into it. He reckoned the condoms provided weren’t big enough for him. I doubt this got him the action he thought it would.

RHYLL: How is parking arranged? 

It’s totally venue dependent. Private residences can be tricky because neighbours get sick of their street being full on a regular basis (one Melbourne party had to move a few times because of this). Our first venue was on a large property so parking space was never a problem there. At another venue in a suburban street we would ask guests not to park in the actual street where the party was taking place. With a commercial venue parking is not usually a problem because the weekday business commuters aren’t parked there when the parties are on. 

RHYLL: Thank you for your time, Andra.

Got more burning (better get that checked) questions about swinging? Try Setting the Scene by Lilah Xavier, available on Smashwords.